Bengaluru, Mar 27 (IANS): In a major setback to Karnataka's ruling BJP ahead of polls, the Lokayukta sleuths have arrested party MLA from Channagiri constituency Madal Virupakshappa on Monday evening in connection with a bribe for tender scandal.
The Karnataka High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail plea of the Virupakshappa, and the BJP MLA, who was participating in a public function, then disappeared.
The Lokayukta sleuths had gone to his residence in Channagiri to arrest him. However, he tried to escape to Bengaluru and the sleuths took him into custody midway, sources said.
Lokayukta sources said that the accused BJP MLA was taken into custody at the tollgate near Kyatsandra in Tumakuru district. A team of six DSPs and inspectors had taken part in the operation.
The MLA's son Prashath Madal was caught red-handed while allegedly receiving Rs 40 lakh bribe towards allotment of procurement of raw materials to the Karnataka Soaps and Detergents Ltd (KSDL), a public sector unit, where the MLA was the Chairman. His son was allegedly receiving bribes on behalf of his father.
The authorities had seized Rs 8.12 crore, and 1.6 kg of gold from the residences of MLA and his son, who was arrested.
Meanwhile, the Advocates' Association, Bengaluru had objected to the immediate posting of the interim anticipatory bail application of Virupakshappa and expressed serious concern.
In a letter to the Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud, its President Vivek Subba Reddy stated that the usual practice in the High Court of Karnataka is that new matters like anticipatory bail take several days and weeks for posting.
But, VIP matters are entertained overnight. This practice would lead to the common man losing faith in the judicial system. It is of utmost importance that a MLA also should be treated as a common man, the letter said.
The celebrations by his supporters after he obtained bail on March 9 was also criticised.